Currently, New York City is home to the most billionaires. The wealthiest among the Big Apple’s residents is Michael Bloomberg, with a net worth of $96.3 billion, per Forbes. But despite its reputation as a haven for the most well-off among us, New York City isn’t the primary residence for any of the richest people in the world. While one of the planet’s most moneyed figures famously keeps a modest dwelling in the middle of the US, others boast more lavish digs in coastal areas, purchased via record-breaking transactions. Unsurprisingly, many of the world’s most affluent (though not all of them) have portfolios filled with a number of spots to split their time between. Read on to learn more about where some of the richest people in the world have chosen to set down roots.
In 2020, the Tesla CEO declared in a tweet that he would “own no house” and planned to sell nearly all his worldly possessions. The following year, Musk announced that his primary residence was a prefab abode in Boca Chica, Texas, rented via his astronautics company, SpaceX. Musk’s residence in the prefab home has not been officially confirmed by outside sources, though the prefab dwelling company Boxabl hinted in a promotional video posted two years ago that one of its houses was installed “for a top secret customer.” The Boxabl Casita that Musk reportedly calls home is in a transportable unit that measures in at approximately 400 square feet. It’s set up much like a typical studio apartment, complete with a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, living area, and bedroom.
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission are both currently investigating Tesla’s funding for a top secret plan known as Project 42, which is rumored to be a glass-wall home for the mogul near the company’s HQ in Austin, Texas.
The 74-year-old French business magnate has built his fortune through the luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (commonly shortened to LVMH). Arnault reportedly sold his $84 million Marmol Radziner–designed Beverly Hills mansion to himself, though the circumstances remain unclear. Back in 2012, Forbes reported that Arnault owned Indigo Island, a 135-acre paradise-like refuge in the Bahamas, as well as a ski chalet in Courchevel, France.
Arnault keeps a relatively low profile for his status as one of the richest people in the world, and he likes it that way. The tycoon said that he sold his private jet after users on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, took to tracking its location. “Indeed, with all these stories, the group had a plane and we sold it,” Arnault said in an interview with an LVMH-owned radio station. “The result now is that no one can see where I go, because I rent planes when I use private planes.” Per a recent New York Times profile, the billionaire has not been received very warmly by the public. He explained that when his friend Warren Buffett walks around Manhattan, “he’s treated like a Beatle.” But when Arnault visits his stores in France, “I have to be careful,” he told the Times. “I don’t like this, but I need bodyguards.”
The Amazon founder’s real estate portfolio has grown considerably in the past few years. Bezos dropped $80 million on three luxury New York apartments overlooking Madison Square Park, later adding two more units in the same building to his holdings. In 2020, he purchased the iconic Jack Warner estate in Beverly Hills for $165 million. The following year, he added a 14-acre compound in Hawaii to his portfolio for an estimated $78 million, apparently breaking a Maui real estate record in the process. His latest purchase is a $68 million estate in Miami’s Indian Creek Island, also known as Billionaire Bunker. The Biscayne Bay locale is also the home of Ivanka Trump.
Impressive as it may be, this recent tear still does not cover Bezos’s entire portfolio. His primary residence over the past few decades has been a compound in Amazon’s home state of Washington. The estate is located in the affluent Seattle suburb of Medina (where Bill Gates also owns an abode). Bezos purchased the 20,600-square-foot and accompanying 8,300-square-foot structures for $10 million. In 2010, he bought the adjacent property: a Tudor-style home listed for $53 million. The sprawling waterfront mega-compound reportedly boasts multiple pools and access to Lake Washington.
Currently the fourth richest person in the world, the Oracle cofounder resides in Hawaii. Though he’s no longer the software company’s CEO after more than 30 years at the helm, Ellison still serves as the tech corporation’s CTO and boasts a net worth of about $138.2 billion. He reportedly retains ownership of homes in Rhode Island and California, and he broke a Florida real estate record last year with the $173 million purchase of his Palm Beach–area compound (subsequently recouping most of the funds in the $145 million sale of his nearby mansion about two months later). But the 79-year-old’s primary residence is still in Lanai, a Hawaiian island that is home to about 3,000 people. According to Bloomberg, Ellison’s 2012 purchase secured the Republican mega-donor 98% of Lanai’s 90,000 acres, and the lives of Lanai’s locals have been greatly impacted by his presence. Bloomberg reported that many residents both rent from the mogul and work for him, and a provision included in his residential leases states that “if you’re terminated from a job with any of his companies, you can be kicked out of your home too.” In a 2012 interview on CNBC’s Closing Bell, Ellison declared his plan to turn Lanai into a model for sustainable enterprise aimed at supporting locals in launching businesses.
The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO maintains a modest residence in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. His massive net worth (currently at $120.5 billion) has not moved the 93-year-old to flee for more temperate climates or waterfront views. According to a CNBC report from earlier this year, Buffett’s 1921 abode located just minutes away from Berkshire Hathaway’s corporate headquarters is still fine by him: “I’m warm in the winter, I’m cool in the summer. It’s convenient for me,” he told BBC’s Evan Davis in 2009. “I couldn’t imagine having a better house.”
Buffett bought the five-bedroom dwelling for $31,500 in 1958, which amounts to approximately $330,000 in today’s value. “I’m happy there,” he said. “I’d move if I thought I’d be happier someplace else.”